Bout with Vijender to be ‘beneficial to boxing’, says Zulpikar

“Fighting this bout will be beneficial to boxing as a whole and also to China’s position as a strong power.”

Zulpilkar Maimaitiali dismissed any potential political message to be derived from his fight with Vijender Singh.   -  PTI

Zulpikar Maimaitiali has expressed keenness in defeating India’s Vijender Singh and help showcase ‘China’s position as a strong power’, ahead of their fight scheduled for Saturday.

The left-hander did not display pre-match anxiety two days ahead of his second pro-bout outside China (since Macau). “If I win, I will beat Vijender who is kind of hero in India. It will be my honour to return with the title. You know China is a fast developing country. Pro boxing back home is also in the initial stage of development, just like here.”

Asked a specific query on awareness about the stand-off between the nations on the border and any pressure on him to win from beyond the ring, Zulpikar said: “I think sport is sport, politics is politics, military is military. This is only a fight between me and Vijender and should not be linked to any other issue.”

He said, “Fighting this bout will be beneficial to boxing as a whole and also to China’s position as a strong power.”

Knowing true ability

He sweated it out in a hotel gymnasium, striking hard to combat sports specialist Julian Howell’s gloved hands, in step with the trainer’s terse commands. WBO Super Middleweight Asia Pacific champion, Vijender Singh, will be a different challenge for Zulpikar. “I will meet a lot more tougher opponents in future than Vijender, so he is one of them. Only by fighting a really good boxer like him can I know what my true ability is.”

The WBO Super Middleweight Oriental champ added: “Pressure on me is not from becoming a world champion, but in defending the world title.”

The fight between two boxers, billed as Battleground Asia by IOS Boxing Promotions, will be staged at NSCI indoor stadium. Both fighters have put their belt at stake, with the winner taking home both titles. Zulpikar, 23, is accompanied by father and boxing inspiraton as a kid, Maimaitiali, on the Mumbai trip.

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